In Europe, people always considered WINE as something as normal and healthy as food and also as a great giver of happiness, well-being and delight. Drinking wine was neither a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication; drinking wine was as natural as eating.
Wine makes food shine, and the food improves the wine. Great wine and great food has a deep and abiding mutual tolerance.
In term of wine and food pairing, as old rules, white wines goes with fishes, red wines goes with red meats. But it is much more complex and exciting to make a perfect pairing.
How to pair food and wine?
First, let ‘s understand what’s the characteristics of wine and food.
Wine includes sugar, acid, tannin, alcohol, body, color, fruits, earthiness, wood, length, and complexity.
Food has them all, plus temperature, salt and spices.
How do the wine and food impact each other?
How wine impact on food
Acid cuts through fatty foods cleanse salty and briny foods, showcases the crisp flavor. Sugar tames spicy food, contrasts nicely with salty foods, showcase sweet flavors. Tannin cuts through fatty foods.
How food impact on wine
Salt, acid, fat and protein, low the degree of acidity and tannin of wine. Bitterness increases sweetness, spicy heat increase alcohol and tannin.
Based on these impact factors, let’s try to pair food and wine
Rule 1: Match the overall intensity of the food and wine. Pair great with great, delicate with delicate, richness with richness.
Rule 2: Try to Identity the essential ingredients in the food. Cooking methods, sauces and other ingredients may sometimes be more important than the main protein used.
Rule 3: Decide whether to complement or contrast.
Other rules: If the food is smoked, bring on the oak; beat the heat with the sweet! Serve wine at lease as sweet as the food is. Bring together food and wine coming from the same region. Harmonize them with the type of event or in function of the weather but at the end DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE!
Some classic pairing
Oysters go with Champagne, Chablis, Muscadet, and Sancerre. We harmonize here delicate flavors and textures, salty food with acidic wine.
Blue cheese goes with Tawny Port or Banyuls. Here, It’s an example of mixing salty food with sweet wine, salty food with low tannin wine, high-intensity food (color, texture, sugar, flavor) with high-intensity wine (color, body, sugar, alcohol).
Chocolate goes with Tawny port, following the rule of sweet food with sweet wine, sweet food with low tannin wine, high-intensity food (color, texture, sugar, flavor) with high-intensity wine (color, body, sugar, alcohol).
Above all, drink what you like, enjoy wine and food, and enjoy life!